1st Edition

The “Socialist Transformation” of Memory Reversing Chinese History through “Pernicious-Vestiges” Media Discourse

By Yusi Liu, Ye Ma Copyright 2023
    228 Pages 3 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    Through discourse analysis and a historical comparison of “Pernicious-Vestiges” narratives in the news text of People’s Daily, this book is devoted to revealing primary metaphors of “Pernicious-Vestiges” and political functions in China.

    “Pernicious-Vestiges” (Yí Dú 遗毒) is one of the most frequently used words in contemporary Chinese historical narration, as well as a constantly changing rhetorical direction in New China’s media discourse, whose function is to remold memory. Over the past 76 years, the “Pernicious-Vestiges” narrative continuously constructed by People’s Daily, the official newspaper of the Central Committee of the Chinese Communist Party, have reflected the views of China’s political elite and represented the ruling party’s evaluation and reevaluation of historical events. The findings of this book challenge the myth that memory is naturally superior to forgetting, reflect on the ethics of memory in “Pernicious-Vestiges” narratives and the erasure of their own justice, and suggest that the critical space compressed by “Pernicious-Vestiges” narratives should be returned to restore the order of memory and historical reflection.

    This book will be an excellent read for students and scholars of Chinese studies, media studies, and those who are interested in political communication and collective memory in general.

    1. Introduction: "Pernicious-Vestiges" Narrative as Legitimation Profiles  2.Sheltering and Domestication: Strategies, Historicity and Memory Politics in "Pernicious-Vestiges" Discourse  3. Body and Politics: Moral Responsibility and Authority Construction of "Pernicious-Vestiges" Metaphor  4. Developing from Nothing: The Evolution of "Feudal Pernicious-Vestiges" Discourse  5. From Prosperity to Decline: Historical Derailment and Mnemonic Silence  6. Paradigm Interruption and Re-narration: Historical Reversal as a Source of Pernicious-Vestiges  7. Conclusion: The Construction of China’s Political Memory by "Pernicious-Vestiges" Media Discourse


    Yusi Liu is Associate Professor at the College of Media and International Culture of Zhejiang University, China. Her research interests include comparative political communication and collective memory.

    Ye Ma is a PhD candidate at the College of Media and International Culture of Zhejiang University, China. Her research interests include media and social thought, media memory, political communication, and intellectual studies.